Lots of us go for a lip-ring or a little tattoo, but sometimes you want more... would you want this much more, though?
(Warning: links are to images that some people might find offensive)
Like a lot of modern body modifications, earlobe stretching has a long history. Women in Borneo have been doing it for a long time, where it was considered a mark of real beauty. Basically it involves elongating the lobe through the use of heavy jewellery.
Tattoos are all very well, but how would you like one carved, sans-anaesthetic on your face? The New Zealand Maori have traditionally had face tattoos called Moko. Each man had his own individualised pattern. The tattooist would literally carve the pattern directly into the skin using a bone chisel. The process could take weeks and would no doubt hurt like hell.Example of Moko tattoo
Not for the faint-hearted, implants involve the placing of objects (at least partly) underneath your skin. This could be metal discs or other objects. One of the most famous implanters is a guy called 'Enigma' who is a member of the notorious Jim Rose Circus. Not only is Enigma completely tattooed in jigsaw puzzle pieces, he has also had horns implanted in the skin surrounding his skull.
Another tradition, this time from Burma where a long neck was considered particularly beautiful in some tribes. At age five, a girl was given her first neck ring, and as she aged new ones were added. Her shoulders would be pushed down, making the neck look longer, often stretching it eventually to about 12 inches long. Neck rings were a sign of wealth; the more rings, the more wealthy the family. You can still see them on some Burman women today.Example of neck rings
Not just for cattle, this. Branding involves taking a hot piece of metal and permanently scarring the skin by burning it. Historically, slave owners in some countries branded their slaves to mark them out and there is evidence of African-Americans 'reclaiming' the brand these days. In the UK branding is a legal grey area. You can't go get a brand from a shop - if you really want one, you have to do it yourself.
Probably the most controversial and taboo of all body modifications, voluntary amputation is exactly what it says it is: the intentional removal of a body part for no medical reason. Potential voluntary amputees have many different reasons for their actions. They also vary in which body parts they choose to amputate: fingers, toes, ear lobes, etc.
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